Life Advice



Ask Amy: Midlife crisis tears family apart

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

— At Wit’s End

Dear At Wit’s End: As your dog’s human, you have two jobs: Daily “scritches,” between her ears, and protecting her from harm. Dogs are instinctively food-focused, which is why delivering small treats is such a useful training tool. Your pooch will scarf down treat after treat, leading to weight gain and health problems, unless you prevent her from doing so.

YOU are responsible for this dog’s health and well-being. You need to be a consistent leader.

Let me suggest some human training for you. When these two neighbors approach with their bags of goodies, you should shorten the leash until your dog is at your side. Say to the humans, “Oops. Nope. No more treats. Sorry, but only petting from now on. The good news is that when it comes to scritches, she can have as much as she wants.”

You don’t need to justify your choice, but if you feel you must, you can say you are operating on “vet’s orders.” Your veterinarian would undoubtedly back you up on this.

Dear Amy: The question from “Slighted” provided a welcome morning chuckle. His wife made out and sent a check (from both of them) to celebrate a wedding, and she got the call from the bride thanking both of them. One check, one “thank you.”

He must have imagined his role in this was to receive separate praise for his wife’s effort. Had his wife prepared a meal for the couple would he have demanded an ‘atta boy’ for that?


— Harry

Dear Harry: I suspect so.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)


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